Re: [Oz-ISP] Re: DNS: URGENT - We must take a stand against Melbourne IT

Re: [Oz-ISP] Re: DNS: URGENT - We must take a stand against Melbourne IT

From: Richard Archer <rha§>
Date: Mon, 18 Nov 1996 17:58:09 +1100

At 10:10 18/11/96, Doug Osborn wrote:

>[boycotting renewals]

My reply was not intended to incite people to boycott MelbourneIT. I think
MelbourneIT is going to increase the quality of the domain in the
long term, and is therefore a 'good thing'. I am expressing my disapproval
at the hard-lined approach that has been taken by MelbourneIT. I think a
more user-friendly approach would benefit both MelbourneIT and the
Australian Internet community.

>>I'm sure lots of people will tell you :)
>No-one has yet.

Yes, I am very surprised at the lack of response to your message. I
expected your request to discuss grievances to have been taken up with

I would like to take this opportunity to encourage anyone who has a comment
or two with regards to this issue to send a quick email to this list, or to
dna&#167; (which will reach Doug).

To answer your question:
>Can someone tell me the rationale for doing this?
the rationale for boycotting MelbourneIT was (probably... I didn't write
the original message) to make MelbourneIT aware in no uncertain terms that
the Internet community was unhappy with their handling of the domain. Since
MelbourneIT seems to be taking the criticism on board, the proposed boycott
is probably unlikely.

>>This sentimemt is caused by the first impression of MelbourneIT's handling
>>of the domain. And the first thing people notice is the billing
>>arrangements. I think MelbourneIT has garnered a lot of ill will because of
>>their hard-lined policy towards billing.
>Is this the means for receiving payment, or that there is money involved at
>all, or that the prices are set/weren't debated?

The fact that there is payment involved at all, whereas 3 weeks ago the
service was free, is almost certainly going to create animosity towards
MelbourneIT. This is inevitable... the task is to minimise the amount of
bad feelings. Being (for the moment) the sole administrative agency for the domain gives MelbourneIT an excellent opportunity to generate
goodwill amongst potential future clients. Of course there is also the
possibility of generating ill-will. MelbourneIT will have to move swiftly
to arrest the growing feeling of ill-will, otherwise the next delegated
agency (having learnt from MelbourneIT's mistakes) will do _very_ good
business in this domain.

I would not have expected the prices to have been debated. It is up to the
agency to do market research in whatever way it seems fit, and to set the
prices based on feedback from this research. (Of course this research could
take the form of a public debate, but I rather feel this would not be very

I was referring mainly to the means of receiving payment. I can certainly
understand MelbourneIT's desire to eliminate exposure to bad debts, however
this is not a realistic possibilty in a competitive industry.

>We're working on setting up a means of invoicing, particularly for PISPs,
>but no announcements yet.

Peter seems to have a different idea with regards to this:

At 20:14 16/11/96, Peter Gerrand wrote:
>Melbourne IT  is not prepared to relax its policy of demanding evidence
>of credit or payment in advance of processing new DN applications,
>because by doing so - and thereby avoiding the management of bad debts -
>it can keep the costs of the bureau service to a minimum.

>>Some policies which MelbourneIT could improve upon:
>Many of these are good comments - can I forward them to

Please do.  I am writing this in the hope that it gets into the hands of
someone who can make use of it.

>>Three-tiered pricing structure...
>It is *not* possible to process all incoming registrations in 24 hours. I

But it would be if they all came in from PISPs and all paid $300 ;-)

>don't think that it is designed to "increase revenues" but offer options. A
>better way to increase revenues would have been to not offer such options.

Do you mean charge a flat rate of $325 to register a name? I rather think
this would significantly decrease the amount of business you handle, and
thus decrease revenues overall.

I had a lengthy reply to your point written, but I don't want to fall into
the trap of debating your prices.

I have quite a lot of experience with performing to deadlines, and the
reason for giving discounts for slow-turnaround jobs is that it is possible
to handle these requests more efficiently. It is a way of evening out
workflow, so that even if jobs come arrive in bunches, they can be worked
on at a steady pace. You just do the urgent ones, then move on to the rest
of the queue.

It seems to me that the current prices are are based on 'what will the
market stand' rather than 'what does this service cost us to offer'. Until
such time as there is some competition in this area, I think this is a
little unwise to set prices in this manner.

>Would it be better if we were to say "well, your application could be done
>tomorrow, or maybe at the end of the week, or perhaps the end of next week,
>just hang around and wait"? I think the current structure of three
>guaranteed turnaround times is better.

Indeed. I would just like to know one thing... if the registry is really
quiet, and a 10-day turnaround request arrives, will it be turned around in
(say) three days, or will it wait until the 10 days have passed?

>>Charging a regular fee for maintenance of the domain name, then charging
>>an extra maintenance fee if manual work is required. Surely one fee or
>>the other is appropriate, but not both.
>Not sure what you're specifically referring to here.

This is no longer relevant. It referred to the fact that you charged $125
each two years to maintain the domain name, then if any maintenance was
required (i.e. change of delegation) you charged a further $75.

>>Requiring a minimum of $1000 to start a PISP account.
>I am not sure if your issue is with a) requiring any amount to start a PISP
>account or b) requiring a $1000 to start a PISP account.  If a) then perhaps
>if invoicing is intoduced this wil resolve this issue. If b) then I doubt
>that there would be any point in a starting amount any less than that.

Making a credit account available to people with whom you deal regularly is
standard business practice. I am delighted to hear that you are considering
setting up an invoice-based account for PISPs.

And in answer to b), I have better things to do with my $1000 than lend it
to MelbourneIT at 3% or so interest. I would like to open a PISP account
with no opening balance, and pay money into the account as I need to in
order to fulfil my clients' requests.

>We have a non-exclusive delegation for administration, so it's not a
>true monopoly. I think that there is in effect, competition for this business.

I have trouble distinguishing 'a true monopoly' from a situation in which
there is one agency through which every person is required to deal in order
to establish and maintain a domain name. Until such time as a
second agency is delegated, I think the situation qualifies as a monopoly.

Thanks for taking the time to read and respond to my message, Doug.


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Received on Mon Nov 18 1996 - 18:56:13 UTC

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